Amphibious Transport Dock - LPD
Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles (EFV) or Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take off and landing aircraft (MV 22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups.
The versatile Austin-class LPDs provide substantial amphibious lift for Marines and their vehicles and cargo. Additionally, they serve as the secondary aviation platform for Amphibous Ready Groups. The oldest of the class turned 42 this year. As the new San Antonio-class LPDs enter service, Austin-class LPDs will be decommissioned. The ships of the LPD 17 class are a key element of the Navy’s seabase transformation. Collectively, these ships functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, seabased platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), and future means by which Marines are delivered ashore.
For more information view the LPD Fact File as seen from the US Navy's web site. http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_print.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4&page=1